Editorial: Independence Day is about libertiesPublished 9:09am Thursday, July 4, 2013
Happy 237th birthday, America.
It’s a day of celebration. Parades. Fireworks. Family time beside campfires and grills.
Let’s not lose sight of why America celebrates Independence Day. It is a day for Americans to observe the liberties we won in 1776. We went from being a colony in a monarchy to an experiment in democracy. This experiment, it turns out, has been rather successful. The United States remains the world’s oldest democracy, a nation where the people elect their leaders. We are a free country.
Here are some of our liberties, among many:
• Taxation with representation.
• Freedom of expression.
• Freedom of religion.
• Freedom to assemble.
• Right to contact the government.
• Right to bear arms.
• Right of legal, lawful citizens 18 years or older to vote.
• Right to a speedy and public trial.
• Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures.
• Right to face one’s accuser in court.
• Right to a jury of one’s peers.
• Protection against self-incrimination.
• Ban on double jeopardy.
• Ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
• Right to an attorney.
• Mandatory compensation for land taken for public use.
• Right to equal protection under the law.
• Right to own property.
• Freedom to travel within the country.
• Freedom to marry and raise a family.
• Right to a public education.
• Freedom to attempt to work in an industry or place.
• Freedom to join a group, party, union or organization.
And though it could be argued that each of these freedoms have seen instances of injustices, for the most part, we remain a free country. We are a liberated people. Let’s be glad for that on this Fourth of July.